I stepped inside a bar/club/pub (whatever they call it now) twice over the past month (once was for a birthday celebration and the other for a spontaneous get-together) and both times there was loud, unfamiliar music playing. It sounded nice, to the point of almost being danceable, yes, but it was all new to me. I was hearing it for the first time. I should revisit MTV, as I think my three-year-old niece Julia knows more of the new singers than I do. In the bar/club/pub I felt as young as I did when I was a college student with a 10 p.m. curfew. It was nice to be out for a change. But it was so noisy that it was difficult to talk to the friends I saw there. It took some time before I surrendered to the reality that nights like those are not for talking and catching up. Maybe it can just be about being present in the moment, guiltlessly embracing the greatness of doing nothing more than taking it all in — loud music, the sound of tinkling glasses and people greeting each other with hugs and kisses, backslaps and high fives, the sexy lights that make everyone look good. A rare night out can perhaps be as simple as allowing the day that was to fade away as you stay put, to be with friends. Never mind that you cannot make conversation. You can just bob your head or sway to the music, have a little drink or two, people-watch. It can be fascinating.